What are some tips and shortcuts to make pumping breast milk at work easier? Transitioning to a Bottle

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breast pump and bottles
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Going back to work after having a baby is an adjustment, to say the least. Add in finding time and the ability to pump, and your head might start spinning! Luckily, there are some ways to make pump breaks more efficient and ways to make cleaning all those bottles and pump parts a bit quicker, so you can keep feeding baby breast milk and succeed on the job.

Plan Around Your Work Schedule

"Understand that it's hard. This country doesn't necessarily make it easy for moms to pump at work. A lot of offices don't have private places, so you may have to seek that out. Finding a place and a time to do it can be a challenge. Ideally, what you want to do to keep up your milk supply is to pump every time your baby is having a bottle at home. Generally, that's around every three hours or so. That's the ideal but you're going to have to tailor it for your job.

"Plastic breast milk...

"Understand that it's hard. This country doesn't necessarily make it easy for moms to pump at work. A lot of offices don't have private places, so you may have to seek that out. Finding a place and a time to do it can be a challenge. Ideally, what you want to do to keep up your milk supply is to pump every time your baby is having a bottle at home. Generally, that's around every three hours or so. That's the ideal but you're going to have to tailor it for your job.

"Plastic breast milk storage bags can lay flat in the freezer. Oftentimes the breast pumps come with freezer packs and coolers that keep breast milk cold for the day if you can't or don't want to store it in the office fridge.

"If you're somewhere you don't have access to a sink, the breast pump companies make special wipes to wipe down the breast pump and parts." -- Lauren Levine, MD, pediatrician at ColumbiaDoctors and assistant clinical professor of pediatrics at Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY

Buy or DIY a Hands-Free Pumping Bra

"I recommend getting a hands-free bra! I have three kids and am on a budget, so I made my own. I used an old sports bra and cut holes where the pump parts go."

Stock Up on Healthy Snacks

"Pumping at work is draining -- literally and figuratively. I keep little snacks in my pumping room -- power bars or granola bars work well -- and sometimes those are my motivation to get up from my desk to go pump. I heard you burn 20 calories per ounce while pumping, so make sure to snack throughout the day to keep your brain and body running!"

Consider Investing in Two Pumps

"I have a pump at home and a pump at work, which is a lifesaver because I don't have to lug one back and forth! I strongly recommend having two. I know many insurances only cover one pump, but I got my second as a gift from a friend. I pump every morning at home before I go to work, so the baby has fresh morning milk for her first bottle of the day. Some moms like to pump at night after the baby goes to sleep too, to get extra milk."

Find Ways to Relax While Pumping

"Feeling calm helped me obtain more milk. My number one tip is to block out everything and everyone that keeps you from being calm and relaxed. Take a deep breath!"

Get the Right Gear

"I would pack extra bottles and transfer the milk from them to freezer bags when I got home. For me, the bottles were much easier to transport than the bags. I also kept one emergency microwave steamer bag in my bag. If I forgot to clean the pump parts the night before, that was a lifesaver."

Dress for Pumping Ease

"I had a nursing bra and a cami on underneath my shirt so I could easily pump. I always played music to help me relax and looked through social media while I did it."

Set Yourself Up for Success

"Know your laws and rights to make sure you get adequate amounts of time for pumping breaks!"

Use Your Dishwasher

"I ran my dishwasher every night, so I'd have clean bottles and pump parts in the morning. Forget standing at the sink to hand-wash everything each evening!"

The advice on CafeMom aims to educate, inform, and provide a range of solutions to the issues moms care about. It is not a substitute for consultation with a medical professional or treatment for a specific condition. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem without consulting a qualified professional. Please contact your health-care provider with questions and concerns.